Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s praise for NRA members Wednesday provoked a critical response from the Second Amendment rights organization.
The NRA tweeted its disapproval of Northam, who has started a campaign for stricter gun control laws since Democrats recently gained control of the Virginia legislature.
NRA Executive Director Jason Ouimet told Northam: “If Virginia Gov. Northam sincerely respects the efforts of the NRA and its 5 million members, he can demonstrate that respect by not infringing our rights.”
“If Virginia Gov. Northam sincerely respects the efforts of the NRA and its 5 million members, he can demonstrate that respect by not infringing our rights.” – Jason Ouimet, executive director, @NRAILA #valeg
— NRA (@NRA) January 15, 2020
At a Wednesday news conference in Richmond, Northam announced a “state of emergency” and said he would be banning all firearms at a pro-gun rally planned by the Virginia Citizens Defense League for the Virginia Capitol on Monday. (RELATED: Report: Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam To Ban Firearms At Gun-Rights Rally)
But the governor tried to compliment the NRA while doing so, saying the group’s membership is responsible for “peaceful events.”
“Virginia is always open for citizens of our state to meet with the elected leaders peacefully,” Northam said, according to The Daily Wire. “That remains the case this coming Monday. Hundreds of Virginians do this every day.”
“Most recently, earlier this week, the NRA hosted its annual lobby day. Hundreds of Virginians participated, and the day passed without incident. That is what peaceful events look like,” Northam told reporters. “I thank the NRA for hosting a peaceful event. Now, I call on the Virginia Citizens Defense League and its members to follow the NRA’s example, and make your event a peaceful display too as you have done in the past,” Northam said “Please do not dishonor Virginia or your cause.” (RELATED: 2020 Executive Budget: Virginia Gov. Northam Now Wants Millions In Tax Money To Ban Guns and Jail Gun Owners)
After being rocked by a black-face scandal and seemingly condoning infanticide in 2019, Northam has rejuvenated his political career by pushing for stricter gun control that has infuriated Second Amendment advocates in Virginia. The state is even proposing that “ammunition-free zones” be established. Gun owners have fought back by establishing Second Amendment sanctuary cities at more than 100 localities but the Virginia attorney general has claimed these zones have “no force in law.”